Small Arms Thread

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Small Arms Thread

Postby Rakesh » 30 May 2007 17:58


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Postby skher » 31 May 2007 17:41

Has this been covered earlier?

Seen this in FutureWeapons programme of Discovery.It's an interesting piece of small arms equipment:CornerShot made by the Israelis.
http://www.cornershot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ2PQk7nBfM

Hope our OFB/DRDO can produce a cheaper version of this technology for our forces.

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Postby skher » 03 Jun 2007 00:04

Does the OFB have an indigenous MANPADS/RPG weapon being developed?
As far as I could google,I found that Bharat Dynamics license builds MILAN.

Are long range[>> 10 kms] manpads in development?

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Postby Sanjay M » 04 Jun 2007 01:19

Russia Claims Exclusive Production Rights on AK-47

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070316/62123005.html

Damn these socialist revolutionary intellectual property pirates!
Kalashnikov and his shareholders are owed tens of billions!

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Postby Kartman » 04 Jun 2007 16:40

SonarDeshi wrote:Does the OFB have an indigenous MANPADS/RPG weapon being developed?
As far as I could google,I found that Bharat Dynamics license builds MILAN.

Are long range[>> 10 kms] manpads in development?


BDL builds Milans and Konkurs.
RPG-wise, we do have the 84mm Carl-Gustaf.

Questions:
- Does BDL make Iglas ?
- Is OFB making Shipons :?:

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Postby Abhi K Rao » 05 Jun 2007 10:08

does bdl make iglas


Then, 450 Igla MANPADS
were delivered to India. Later several contracts
were signed with the Indian Ministry of
Defense (MoD) on component and spare parts
supply. Now 12 to 15 small contracts are under
study. KBM groups them into packages by services
of the armed forces, with each such package totaling
several millions of dollars.


Firstly, India is taking a great interest in the
purchase of the Igla-S MANPADS. KBM hopes to
receive soon an appropriate formal request from the
country’s MoD. Supposedly, the request will cover
the purchase of a batch and transfer of technology
for license production of the systems in India. The
batch will include no less than 2,000 missiles. The
license envisages production of no less than 5,000
missiles. For now, the figures are tentative.


http://www.armstass.su/data/Files/File/77.pdf



Pretty sure it is with BDL. Also MBDA and BDL are working on joint production of the Milan-ER.

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Postby Kartman » 05 Jun 2007 14:54

Yes, but are there confirmed reports of BDL making Iglas, or concrete plans for the future ?

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Postby Abhi K Rao » 05 Jun 2007 23:21

To utilise spare capacity, BDL has been nominated as production agency for Barak Missile with ToT from RAFEL, Israel, C-303 with ToT from WASS, Italy, Igla S missiles with ToT from KBM, KOLOMNA, Russia and Takshak (heavy weight Torpedo) developed by DRDO.


124. The Ministry has further stated that once the production of new projects would be commenced with in next 18-24 months, BDL will be able to utilise its capacity fully.


125. The Committee note that Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is the only manufacturer of Missiles in India. The Committee are concerned to note that the Components Production Division of BDL is lying idle since March 2004 and that the BDL will also continue to face under-utilization of capacity for another two years till new projects are taken up.
126. The Committee recommend that the Ministry should take immediate action to formulate a long-term plan so as to ensure that Bharat Dynamics Limited get regular orders and the expertise developed and the state-of-the-art facilities in these centres of excellence are gainfully utilized for the benefit of the nation. The Committee also desire that the Ministry should explore the possibilities of export of missiles to other countries so that the order book position of the company always remains healthy.



http://164.100.24.208/ls/CommitteeR/Def ... efence.pdf

The report came out in 2004 and also states that within 18-24 months, BDL would be maxing out its capacity.

http://164.100.24.208/ls/CommitteeR/Defence/9threportof14th.pdf

On page 32, it says that Igla-s RFP was recieved by bdl. Replacement of obsolete iglas are to be under way during 07-08. After that, I think there will be an additional requirment for updated iglas during 08-09. I don't have an idea about the current status of the Igla production, hope this helps. Im sure you have already seen this though.

Raju

AK-47 FIRING WITHOUT A TOP COVER.

Postby Raju » 15 Jun 2007 12:25

AK-47 FIRING WITHOUT A TOP COVER.

Slow motion full auto fire without a top cover, look at it rattle and roll!

http://www.nothingtoxic.com/media/11633 ... low_Motion

Raju

Postby Raju » 15 Jun 2007 12:44


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Postby davidn » 18 Jun 2007 14:49

Kartman wrote:
davidn wrote:A good gunner only fires on a target in short 3-5 round bursts unless he's got 100000 chinese running up the hill at him. He should also have the brains to know that if he loses his target at night, stop firing and reacquire it. As for the recomposure, I can only assume it has the opposite effect. For a soldier the worst thing is having a weapon with no rounds in it. There is then a rightfully hurried drill to reload.

Well, as the saying goes... in theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice they're different :)



Not really. I don't know of a single good soldier that wouldn't do exactly what i've said. The only reasons I can think of for holding down the trigger longer than 3-5 rounds would be against a human wave attack, a limited high rate of fire suppression bursts (~10 rounds/burst), or a panic burst in CQB. Now MG's aren't best suited for CQB CI ops, best to send in a section armed with rifles whilst your gun provides fire support from a distance. In the fire support role, any section commander i know would have the head of his gunner if he were to let off uncontrolled ineffective fire. In Western armies at least one of the guns in a section is under the direct control of the section commander and 2IC.

Wastage of ammunition only comes into play when the soldier gets panicked. In its most efficient role, a machine gun in a CI environment should be slightly detached from the thick of it, allowing a measure of composure.

Kartman wrote:Part of the thinking in favour of mag vs belt-fed is precisely this reasoning that a good soldier, despite good training, is likely to fire away his ammunition in the thick of battle. Much the same reason that the IA invests extra money in a 3-round burst (that adds mechanical complexity) for the INSAS rifle, rather than go full auto and depend on the rifleman to control his bursts...


And yet they have reequipped most CI forces with the full auto AK? I'm pretty sure this was done with the confidence that the only time those AK's would let rip in a less than controlled manner would be in close quarters. And ammunition supply in CI is not so big an issue. The INSAS was meant for use as a RIFLE on an ammunition limited conventional battlefield. Hence the 3 round burst. Which is fair enough, but a machine gun has to be full auto by definition. As the primary piece of firepower in a section, its also under a lot more control as i've explained. A bigger mag has no downside.

Besides which, we're not talking about some idiot Arab militia or African rebels. Any half-decent soldier the world over will know that firing full auto with a rifle at anything other than very close quarters is stupid, and results in a greater chance of you getting shot (since you won't hit squat). I can only think of three situations when you would, and i've mentioned them. The relevant ones are close quarter battle and suppression fire. IA troops seem pretty disciplined in their controlled suppression fire nowadays as that guy who went off on a tangent mentioned. But the tactics I know of (not IA) have the gun providing a large proportion of the full auto suppression fire, with the rifles providing controlled but elevated rates of fire. With its bipod a gunner can easily deliver fairly accurate fire in 3-5 round bursts, and slightly less accurate fire with ~10 round bursts. But this is ENTIRELY upto the section commander and how he tells the gun to fire. So any ammunition wastage is more bad tactics on the commanders part.

Kartman wrote:
Fire effectiveness is only increased by having a greater magazine capacity. I don't understand why you're overthinking this into the belief that collateral damage is going to go through the roof with IA jawans spraying 100 round mags into every building on the street.

Perhaps I wasn't clear ... collateral damage (in built-up areas) is only a secondary concern. The primary concern is fire effectiveness with limited ammo...

A CI environment like J&K is the least likely battle scenario for the troops to be ammunition limited. Reinforcements can be on the scene far more quickly than in a conventional battle. For the operations in non-urban environments it comes down to conventional fire discipline.

Kartman wrote:
I think that's one of the things they need to make for the INSAS-LMG. A nice big drum magazine like the MG36 has.


Again, the difference is in philosophies... much like the 7.62 vs 5.56 debate... IIRC, there was no demand in the IA's GSQR for a high-capacity drum mag or belt. Given DDM and how all reports on the INSAS LMG reported that only the barrel-change QR was not satisfied (which was made up with better materials), I assume the drum/belt requrement wasn't in keeping with the IA's philosophy...

No there wasn't, but we all know about the IA and its super visionary GSQRs. Especially in conventional battle a high capacity mag on a machine gun with a quick barrel change mechanism is a real force multiplier to a sections firepower.

My point is that a bigger mag capacity allows the section commander the option of utilizing a higher rate of fire if he needs it. If not, use a lower rate of fire.

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Postby Kartman » 18 Jun 2007 15:51

davidn wrote:Not really. I don't know of a single good soldier that wouldn't do exactly what i've said. The only reasons I can think of for holding down the trigger longer than 3-5 rounds would be against a human wave attack, a limited high rate of fire suppression bursts (~10 rounds/burst), or a panic burst in CQB. Now MG's aren't best suited for CQB CI ops, best to send in a section armed with rifles whilst your gun provides fire support from a distance. In the fire support role, any section commander i know would have the head of his gunner if he were to let off uncontrolled ineffective fire. In Western armies at least one of the guns in a section is under the direct control of the section commander and 2IC.


Wish RayC would join in and clarify a few things :)

From what I understand (and correct me if I'm wrong), the difference in philosophies stems from how the typical Inf section is currently organized in IA vs NATO armies... the LMGs that we talk about are designated for the equivalent of SAW-roles in IA, with the much-heavier 7.62 MAG (or MMG) for the high-rate-of-fire role from a prepared position.

Note that the current IA section can bring down a far lower volume of fire than an equivalent NATO section... with the present organization, the box-fed "LMGs" should suffice. Infact, I'm not too clear about how the INSAS "LMG" would fare in the real (belt-fed) LMG role, given that it doesn't have a barrel-change facility.

Now, whether the IA section needs to be reorganized along NATO lines is a different question altogether.

Wastage of ammunition only comes into play when the soldier gets panicked. In its most efficient role, a machine gun in a CI environment should be slightly detached from the thick of it, allowing a measure of composure.


I'm sorry if I wasn't clearer before... but the limited ammo scenario I was referring to was w.r.t regular Inf actions, say a section on long-range patrol. In COIN, of course, like you said... resupply is typically of little, or no, concern...

davidn wrote:
Kartman wrote:Part of the thinking in favour of mag vs belt-fed is precisely this reasoning that a good soldier, despite good training, is likely to fire away his ammunition in the thick of battle. Much the same reason that the IA invests extra money in a 3-round burst (that adds mechanical complexity) for the INSAS rifle, rather than go full auto and depend on the rifleman to control his bursts...


And yet they have reequipped most CI forces with the full auto AK? I'm pretty sure this was done with the confidence that the only time those AK's would let rip in a less than controlled manner would be in close quarters. And ammunition supply in CI is not so big an issue.

I think you might be confusing me with tsarkar or others ?
I've always maintained that the issue of limited ammo applies only to conventional battlefield use, and not COIN...

davidn wrote:
Kartman wrote:
davidn wrote:I think that's one of the things they need to make for the INSAS-LMG. A nice big drum magazine like the MG36 has.


Again, the difference is in philosophies... much like the 7.62 vs 5.56 debate... IIRC, there was no demand in the IA's GSQR for a high-capacity drum mag or belt. Given DDM and how all reports on the INSAS LMG reported that only the barrel-change QR was not satisfied (which was made up with better materials), I assume the drum/belt requrement wasn't in keeping with the IA's philosophy...

No there wasn't, but we all know about the IA and its super visionary GSQRs. Especially in conventional battle a high capacity mag on a machine gun with a quick barrel change mechanism is a real force multiplier to a sections firepower.


Like I said above, whether the IA section should be reorganized to enable higher fire volume is a different question altogether...

But for it's current tasking, IMHO, the box-fed INSAS LMG should suffice... in fact, I do remember seeing a few pics of belt-fed Negevs with RR for exactly the kind of role you seem to be articulating. So, perhaps, a future tasking would be:
- INSAS rifle -> the std-issue weapon for the rifleman
- INSAS "LMG" -> SAW (per Brit/NATO terminology)
- Negev -> "real" LMG

RayC, others: larger question that I'm not clear about...
(a) How is the current IA section organized, in terms of the role of the LMG, etc ?
(b) Is there a plan to change this and enable the section to bring down a much larger volume of fire ?

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Postby davidn » 18 Jun 2007 18:24

I admit my small unit knowledge is almost entirely based on western doctrine, so input from someone well versed in IA tactics would be good :)

But my point is enhancing the firepower of the section gives much more options, whilst not necessarily meaning ammunition wastage/inefficiency.

Take for example the US Army and the Aussie Army. Both have a standard infantry section of ~9 men, equipped very similarly firepower wise. The US section with its massive airborne and ground based logistics capability tends to use ammunition in an encounter far more liberally, whereas Aussies tend to be a lot more conservative since they don't have anywhere near the logistics capability to resupply.

How you use your capabilities depends on your tactics and training.

So, perhaps, a future tasking would be:
- INSAS rifle -> the std-issue weapon for the rifleman
- INSAS "LMG" -> SAW (per Brit/NATO terminology)
- Negev -> "real" LMG


I've thought this would be a good future direction as well. Add in an extended range quasi-sniper rifle type weapon and you have my ideal section. In many Western circles there are calls for converting the current 2 gun sections equipped with 2 x5.56mm LMG's to one being a 5.56mm LMG and the other being a 7.62mm weapon to increase the section firepower further still.

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Postby RayC » 18 Jun 2007 18:46

To be sure, I have not understood what is the issue on the rate of fire.

A higher rate of fire would mean that replenishment will have to be made faster. This would mean that ammunition must be readily available as also well stocked. Being well stocked will mean a large volume of movement in the logistic chain since the areas being stocked will be have a fixed capacity and will not be able to stock more than their designed capacity.

Therefore, it is advisable for the soldier to fire only when he 'sees the whites of the enemy's eye'.

In short, wanton and wasteful expenditure of ammunition is not advocated.

The bottomline lies in the motto, "Ek Goli, Ek Dushman" or "Shoot to Kill".

The carbine, rifle, the LMG and the MMG are made for specific purposes and with that in view, the ammunition expenditure should be viewed.

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Postby RayC » 18 Jun 2007 18:51

Let us take a scenario to explain it a bit.

In an attack, if one starts firing right from the FUP which is 1000 yds away then he will finish all his ammunition before even reaching the objective.

If he fires wantonly and indiscriminately as he is climbing onto the objective, again he will expend his ammunition and if when he finishes his ammunition, a enemy not dead shoots at him, he will be dead!

If he has finished his ammunition and yet the objective has been gained, he must be ready for the inevitable counter attack. Should the F ech ammunition not fetch up by vehicle (let us say because the minefield vehicle safe lane has not be made), then when the counter attack comes, it will be successful since the attacker (who has just got the objective) has no ammunition left to beat back the counter attack.

Therefore, the aim is always that fire only that much as is absolutely necessary. It is only in the movies and video games that one goes firing like a maniac.

Note: when the F ech vehicles cannot fetch up the F ech stores to the objective captured, it is then sent by man pack by what is known as Fighting Porters constituted by those not in battle of the unit.

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Postby abhischekcc » 18 Jun 2007 19:18

RayC wrote:It is only in the movies and video games that one goes firing like a maniac.


I take offence to that statement. I never fire indiscriminately in games. I always preserve my ammo by shooting at the heads of the enemy, and making sure I replenish my weapons by partaking of the fallen enemy's weapons. 8)

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Postby Kartman » 18 Jun 2007 19:45

RayC wrote:To be sure, I have not understood what is the issue on the rate of fire.

A higher rate of fire would mean that replenishment will have to be made faster. This would mean that ammunition must be readily available as also well stocked. Being well stocked will mean a large volume of movement in the logistic chain since the areas being stocked will be have a fixed capacity and will not be able to stock more than their designed capacity.

Therefore, it is advisable for the soldier to fire only when he 'sees the whites of the enemy's eye'.

In short, wanton and wasteful expenditure of ammunition is not advocated.

The bottomline lies in the motto, "Ek Goli, Ek Dushman" or "Shoot to Kill".

The carbine, rifle, the LMG and the MMG are made for specific purposes and with that in view, the ammunition expenditure should be viewed.


Ray-sir... thank you for your responses !

It is this logistics issue that is often lost sight of... rate of fire is all OK, but who is going to haul all that ammo on their shoulders up the mountains ? Or convince his mule to do so :P

Specifically, would it be possible for you to compare the firepower of an IA section with that of, say, a NATO section ?

The issues I'm trying to understand are:

(1) Per my understanding, the IA section's firepower is much lower than that of its Western counterpart. To what extent is this due only to logistics ? Esp. given that a significant proportion of our Inf is deployed in Mtn Divs or, say, on the LAC with China.

(2) Is there a difference in teh ToE between a plains Inf unit (with better logistics), than one in the mountains, purely in terms of firepower ?

(3) Is there any plan to increase, either across-the-board or in specific theatres, the section firepower ?

In the above, firepower could be defined in terms of:
- total volume of automatic fire that can be generated (alternatively, total rounds carried).
- other capabilities, such as RCL/grenades/etc.

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 18 Jun 2007 21:26

Let me reply on this topic from more of a layman understanding:-


1. The interesting fact is that USA has articulated a requirement of Infantry assault weapon - IAR which is very close to INSAS-LMG rather than SAW inspite of being user of SAW. :twisted:

2. Belt fed LMG is heavier, requires extra barrel and has to be handled by two men team to be moved easily. At this expense, we can have two INSAS-LMG which will give higher effective rate of fire from two sources, with less risk of indiscriminate panic fire.

3. Assault rifle is NOT fired in auto even at very close ranges as target will be missed.

4. On average an ammo mag can be changed in 6 sec compared to 12 sec for belt fed.

5. Belt fed LMG cannot be reloaded on move or without lying it down unlike mag fed LMG.

6. If IA requires belt fed LMG then Negev by OFB is there.

7. Ammo - belt boxes are noisy, difficult to carry and cumbersome and off course not changeble with other rifles (using mags)


8. Not to mention that fixed barrel LMG will be more accurate and in some instances-modifications can be used as designated marksman role unlike something like SAW


My two pennies

(edited to remove confusion about my first line)
Last edited by Raj Malhotra on 18 Jun 2007 21:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby RayC » 18 Jun 2007 21:38

Kartman wrote:
RayC wrote:To be sure, I have not understood what is the issue on the rate of fire.

A higher rate of fire would mean that replenishment will have to be made faster. This would mean that ammunition must be readily available as also well stocked. Being well stocked will mean a large volume of movement in the logistic chain since the areas being stocked will be have a fixed capacity and will not be able to stock more than their designed capacity.

Therefore, it is advisable for the soldier to fire only when he 'sees the whites of the enemy's eye'.

In short, wanton and wasteful expenditure of ammunition is not advocated.

The bottomline lies in the motto, "Ek Goli, Ek Dushman" or "Shoot to Kill".

The carbine, rifle, the LMG and the MMG are made for specific purposes and with that in view, the ammunition expenditure should be viewed.


Ray-sir... thank you for your responses !

It is this logistics issue that is often lost sight of... rate of fire is all OK, but who is going to haul all that ammo on their shoulders up the mountains ? Or convince his mule to do so :P

Specifically, would it be possible for you to compare the firepower of an IA section with that of, say, a NATO section ?

The issues I'm trying to understand are:

(1) Per my understanding, the IA section's firepower is much lower than that of its Western counterpart. To what extent is this due only to logistics ? Esp. given that a significant proportion of our Inf is deployed in Mtn Divs or, say, on the LAC with China.

(2) Is there a difference in teh ToE between a plains Inf unit (with better logistics), than one in the mountains, purely in terms of firepower ?

(3) Is there any plan to increase, either across-the-board or in specific theatres, the section firepower ?

In the above, firepower could be defined in terms of:
- total volume of automatic fire that can be generated (alternatively, total rounds carried).
- other capabilities, such as RCL/grenades/etc.


The short answer is that tactics, organisation and weapon systems are designed based on the threat.

The western threat and our threat are not the same and so the systems are different.

An example. The US has airmobile, we don't have. Just think can we use the airmobile in the mountains? Will the helicopter lift off with the weight so that the subunit is moved as whole with all its equiment in the HAA?

We have adequate firepower for out needs as I see it.

The scales of ammunition is designed based on statistical models of ammunition usage based on the wars fought.

Raj,

It is an interesting comment that the IA is a bunch of jokers.

I wonder why the non jokers are not joining the IA to save the country. ;)

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 18 Jun 2007 21:54


Raj,

It is an interesting comment that the IA is a bunch of jokers.

I wonder why the non jokers are not joining the IA to save the country. ;)


you may have mis-understood as I wanted to say the opposite. Too avoid confusion i removed the line

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Postby davidn » 19 Jun 2007 05:29

Raj Malhotra wrote:Let me reply on this topic from more of a layman understanding:-

2. Belt fed LMG is heavier, requires extra barrel and has to be handled by two men team to be moved easily. At this expense, we can have two INSAS-LMG which will give higher effective rate of fire from two sources, with less risk of indiscriminate panic fire.

4. On average an ammo mag can be changed in 6 sec compared to 12 sec for belt fed.

7. Ammo - belt boxes are noisy, difficult to carry and cumbersome and off course not changeble with other rifles (using mags)

8. Not to mention that fixed barrel LMG will be more accurate and in some instances-modifications can be used as designated marksman role unlike something like SAW



I'll reply to those assumptions I have a problem with.

2. 'Requires an extra barrel' is about the most negative spin you could have put on that. The extra barrel is an option for increasing the weapons rate of fire and is one of the biggest advantages dedicated LMGs have over the INSAS-LMG. It gives the ability to sustain a higher rate of fire and then quickly change barrels when the barrel temp becomes too high and begins to affect performance or become dangerous.
The FN Minimi and most other weapons in the same class DO NOT require a 2 man team. Meaning you can equip one of those men with a minimi, one with an INSAS-LMG and have even more firepower than your 2 INSAS-LMG buddies.

4. Mag's may be quicker, but a belt fed collapsible magazine isn't far behind, certainly not twice as long. Common in the mag changing procedure would be: Remove old mag, open pouch to get new mag, place new mag on weapon, recock the weapon. The only extra you have to do with a belt fed is to put the rounds on the feed tray and then recock. Now if your belt fed mag holds 100-200 rounds which is 3-7x more than a typical 30rnd mag i don't think this is too bad a tradeoff.

7. Maybe if we were having this discussion in 1941 I'd agree. But todays box mags have come a long way. Typically made out of some tough fabric with a zipper down the middle, they're not noisy or difficult to carry with special webbing pouches.

8. I'm not trying to create a competition of one vs the other. Weapons like the minimi were never meant for marksman roles. I'm saying we should have a belt fed mag in every section to complement an INSAS-LMG style weapon.

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Postby asprinzl » 19 Jun 2007 06:00

wow, it is great to see some arm chair soldiers talk about short burst and what not. In combat, it is not a case of panicking or not. It is a matter of adrenalin rush. Ofcourse, the extreme stress can cause for some brown stuff to come rushing down through you know where. Worst of all in anti-terrorist/counter insurgency ops- the stress level is extremely high.

It is not a matter of seeing a hundred thousand Chinese marching towards you. If you see one bogey and the bogey disappears even before you fire? How many bogey are there in the vicinity? Does he or his accomplice hold a thumb on a remote-control detonator? Are you sitting right on an IED without knowing it? Did he see you? Why had he disappeared? He must have seen you? Its a fifty fifty situaiton. Are you gonna take chance? You could or you could not. What do you do?

In such a situaiton, not all the time but sometimes you unload in the general area where you saw a bogey just now hoping to hit him before he triggers a bobby trapped bomb. Most soldiers who had been in such hair raising situaiton will tell you. They may not have panicked but I am sure many a times every one was close to panicking like hell. Ask me. I was close so many times.

It is not very smart to underestimate neither the Africal rag tag rebels nor the Arab militias. Just look at the American Somali experience. Though the Americans killed nearly five hundred Somalis, the Somalis didn't chicken out and run away. Even as their comrades were falling away cut down by American bullets, they still went towards the Americans.
Avram

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Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2007 06:50

asprinzl wrote:It is not very smart to underestimate neither the Africal rag tag rebels nor the Arab militias. Just look at the American Somali experience. Though the Americans killed nearly five hundred Somalis, the Somalis didn't chicken out and run away. Even as their comrades were falling away cut down by American bullets, they still went towards the Americans.
Avram


Let me add my 2 paise. The only "gun" I have ever fired is an intestinal stapling gun.

I had been doing some reading about armies, killing and stress even before the "stress" topic started and learned some things.

A man called SLA Marshall wrote a book saying that hardly 15% of US Army soldiers actually fired their weapons at the enemy in world war 2. This information was disputed, but other resarchers claimed similar things and it was said that a lot of the muskets found at the scene of Custer's battle were loaded and not fired.

So it apparently became US army doctrine to
desensitise the soldier to killing using sophisticated psychological training techniques. I suspect that they combined this with a robust logistics chain. The "indoctrination story" may go deeper, because there have been accounts of Vietnam, in which soldiers on long patrols have rid themselves of excess weight by discarding a helmet and water bottle, keeping their weapon.

Anyhow the "success" of this indoctrination has been "proven" by statistics to show that 80 or more percent of US soldiers fire their guns and that the US won all its "firefights" ("encounters" in Indian lingo?) in Vietnam, Somalia ( :roll: ) and Iraq, in terms of "kill ratios" i.e. number of enemy killed vs no of US soldiers killed.

The point I am trying to make is that US army doctrine may be calling for firing off of a lot of rounds. This might not be the policy of all armies.

Humorous replies notwithstanding - RayC is dead right in drawing the parallel of Video games - and in the US at least it is being suspected that video games are desensitizing children to wanton killing - leading to the murderous school attacks that one sees on and off in the US.

Google for Dave Grossman for more on this.

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Postby ssmitra » 19 Jun 2007 07:00

asprinzl wrote:It is not very smart to underestimate neither the Africal rag tag rebels nor the Arab militias. Just look at the American Somali experience. Though the Americans killed nearly five hundred Somalis, the Somalis didn't chicken out and run away. Even as their comrades were falling away cut down by American bullets, they still went towards the Americans.
Avram


Now my 2 paisa question, I though the behavior mentioned above (common in most african civil wars) has been attributed to drug addiction (Khat in case of somalia).

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Postby Vick » 19 Jun 2007 07:03

The US Army sponsored a 3D first person shooter (FPS in gamer lingo) called America's Army. It is a free to download game that takes the gamer through the steps to understand what fireteams are and how they operate as cohesive, almost self contained units, etc. A primer for kids that are interested and the US Army hopes will (a) boost enlistment and (b) the enlisted will already have a certain level of understanding of the Army's infantry fighting doctrines, loosely. The game itself has gotten mixed reviews and is coming to the XBox 360, which means that it won't be free any more.

Also, there's a game called Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (GRAW). That game, more than any other game, really gets down into the weeds of teaching how to conduct FIBUA with 4 man fireteams to the gamer. It is a very effective means of learning the fundamentals of urban combat the US Army does it. The game is also visually stunning, eye candy, as it were.

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Postby davidn » 19 Jun 2007 07:31

asprinzl wrote:wow, it is great to see some arm chair soldiers talk about short burst and what not. In combat, it is not a case of panicking or not. It is a matter of adrenalin rush. Ofcourse, the extreme stress can cause for some brown stuff to come rushing down through you know where. Worst of all in anti-terrorist/counter insurgency ops- the stress level is extremely high.


Yes, we get it, we're all just arm chair soldiers. But you seem to have missed the point of belt fed vs mag fed completely and are now going into the deeper psychological issues of a soldier in combat.

asprinzl wrote:It is not very smart to underestimate neither the Africal rag tag rebels nor the Arab militias.


I was using a broadsword generalisation, yes. But I will underestimate those African rebels and Arab militias that I see hopping about firing their guns gansta style and sitting in the middle of the road with their figure on the trigger. A real soldier like you might think otherwise, but the effectiveness of their fire is terrible. That said, there are also many groups who's small unit tactics and fire effectiveness are excellent. Kudos to them. Sorry they got lumped in with the rest.

Just look at the American Somali experience. Though the Americans killed nearly five hundred Somalis, the Somalis didn't chicken out and run away. Even as their comrades were falling away cut down by American bullets, they still went towards the Americans.


Good for them. I'm sure the 1000 khat filled Somali corpses they had to clean off the sidewalks felt very proud of killing the entire 18 US soldiers they did. In a professional army however, I'd expect a slightly better enemy/friendly deaths ratio.

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Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2007 07:58

davidn wrote: In a professional army however, I'd expect a slightly better enemy/friendly deaths ratio.


Umm - I don't mean to confuse the issue - but it is precisely this factor that led to a long discussion on another board.

It appears (to me) that somewhere along the way - the US army made "kill ratios" an "objective indicator" that a firefight was being won. No matter how many bodies were scraped off - the Somalis will have their own definition of victory, so "Kill ratio" appears to be a US initiated and possibly US specific definition of a parameter of effective combat.

This has a direct connection with number of rounds fired off, and to the logistics chain so let me explain.

The need for more rounds and a better logistics chain is greater if you have a higher proportion of your men firing off more rounds. I believe that the US Army set out to achieve, and successfully achieved exactly this in all its wars since World War 2. It was achieved by specific training and tactics and not by random chance. Along with kill ratios - another parameter that seems to have been measured is the firing rate and US soldiers were taught to shoot reflexively, and to shoot to kill. It is possible that other armies, with differing policies and less robust supply chains may not be doing exactly what the US can do - but I don't know.

But several broader questions, unrelated to this thread crop up as a fallout of this particular US policy. I have my own thoughts on this - but they are all completely irelevant to this thread and will not say anything further. Their only connection to this thread may be the connection between number of rounds fired versus kill efficacy. In this connection there can be an endless argument about the optimum ratio of rounds fired to enemy hit, but unless I can find such stats I won't be able to say anything more.

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Postby RayC » 19 Jun 2007 09:05

Just a thought.

If kill ratio is the quotient for indicating success, then I reckon the US has won Iraq over many times over.

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Postby niran » 19 Jun 2007 09:23

Please do not rely on the kill ratio.Its useless.in Mogadishu true Somali causality figures are unknown. The figure given are inclusive of bystanders,onlookers,people living in tin sheds hit by projectiles penetrating their thin walls.and finally, Somali killing a Somali in an act of revenge or inter clan warfare and claiming they were hit by US soldiers.

What ever The US may say about it.Its the world that they were beaten in that battle.

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Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2007 09:40

I'm sorry I brought up the possible link between weapon firing statistics and kill ratios.

I did not mean it as a method of being derogatory about the US army, but since the topic has come up let me say why I suspect such a big thing is made out of kill ratios by the US armed forces despite lost wars/battles.

I think that there was always a tendency for politician to blame military for failures and the only way the military could explain that they had not failed was to provide hard statistics of how they were doing what they were supposed to do - i.e killing the enemy in numbers. In other words, the reasons for losing a war or a battle lay outside the control of the military.

And I think the US military are right here - the US has got itself into an unusual number of unwinnable wars.

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Postby davidn » 19 Jun 2007 09:49

*sigh*

Oh For crying out loud. I'm going to stop with my off the cuff sarcasm and hyperboles since they seems to generate more discussion than the actual issue at hand.

I wasn't saying that kill ratios are a sole gauge of effectiveness. NOT THE ISSUE. But I would rather be taking home as small a number of body bags home after a battle as possible. Kill ratios are one of many outcomes which can determine how the battle, not the war was fared. Now..Stop bringing the hot air forum into the mil tech one!! :P

Belt fed or box mag LMG's???!!!

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Postby niran » 19 Jun 2007 10:44

Belt fed LMGs are always a bit more awkward to use in the tactical roles of an infantry section or squad, compared to magazine fed LMGs. The former is more difficult and heavier to use on the assault or in fast moving infantry engagements.

Such as belt fed LMGs with low recoil & quick barrel change mechanism is ideal for defense or the mobile fire base role.

mag fed LMGs are ideal for fast moving situations such as COIN ops.

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Postby RayC » 19 Jun 2007 10:59

Body bags are avoided with good battle drill and battle procedures and the correct use of ground.

It is difficult to explain the same in the format of a forum.

If you can't see me, you can't kill me.

If you can see me and I am a fleeting object, the chances are that you can't kill me.

If my buddies are firing well and keeping your head down and not allowing you the luxury of a deliberate shot, the chances are the you cannot kill me as I move to another place and if I use the ground ingenuously you then have no chance to kill me as I close up to you!

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Postby m_bose » 19 Jun 2007 11:19

shiv wrote:But several broader questions, unrelated to this thread crop up as a fallout of this particular US policy. I have my own thoughts on this - but they are all completely irelevant to this thread and will not say anything further. Their only connection to this thread may be the connection between number of rounds fired versus kill efficacy. In this connection there can be an endless argument about the optimum ratio of rounds fired to enemy hit, but unless I can find such stats I won't be able to say anything more.


Actually, around the Vietnam war, a number of studies showed that the average US soldier was becoming a worse shooter than before. In WW I, the average American soldier expended about 7,000 rounds per enemy casualty. In WW-II, this number went to approx. 25,000 rounds per enemy. Korea doubled that number to around 50,000 rounds per enemy and estimates for Vietnam were anything between 200,000 and 400,000 rounds per enemy body count (250,000 is cited by at least two authorities I read)

One of the main reasons for this was because of the rapid industrialization of American society. Basically, people were buying their food at the grocery store instead of hunting for it. As far back as WW-II, people in the USMC had noticed that country-boys seemed to be better shots than city dweller folks and also knew how to take proper care of their weapons.

The training methods that were in use before the Vietnam era were also not optimum and the reason it didn't show up as much earlier was because a lot of the GIs already knew the basics of marksmanship in earlier wars. During the days of war of Independence, Civil war, wild west etc., entire units of excellent marksmen could be picked from a small population of backwoodsmen and frontier people.

In the 1940s and 50s, Colonel (later Brig. General) SLA Marshall did some influential studies about how soldiers did in combat and claimed that only 15% of soldiers would fire their weapons at the enemy because of the fear of killing another human being, rather than the fear of being killed themselves. Based on his papers (especially "Men Against Fire"), the solution that occurred to the military was to train people to shoot under combat conditions, overcoming their instincts. Instead of teaching a soldier to shoot a target; the Army decided to instead condition him to kill, and the best way to do it, unusually enough, was to de-emphasize that shooting = killing. The thinking at that time was that a soldier who has learned to shoot carefully at a target in peacetime, will also take the time in combat situations, to think about the family of the man he's about to shoot. Hence, the solution was to train soldiers how to quickly shoot massive volumes of fire without giving them time to think about it, and also into places where enemy soldiers might be hiding (e.g. trees, houses, soft vehicles etc.), because Marshall's studies showed that the soldier will have less reluctance to firing on a house or tree than upon a fellow human being.

Therefore, the military placed less emphasis on shooting at a fixed target (known distance shooting) and more on shooting at high volume of fire at pop-up targets (the Trainfire system). Here's one study from 1958
http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?&verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0479630
The advantages of the Trainfire system was that it supposedly simulated combat conditions and produced soldiers more quickly (17 hits out of 40 was considered pass), but people trained by this system shot less accurately than people trained by the Known Distance program. The problem also was that the Army went straight to Trainfire without teaching recruits the fundamentals of basic marksmanship that Known Distance shooting taught. This meant that a lot of guys knew how to pull the trigger, but not why they were not hitting their target. By the early 1960s, the Army had practically phased out the Known Distance program and were emphasizing a Trainfire based program called Quickfire, which was very spray-and-pray.

By the Vietnam era, a guy named Major Wigger of the US Army did a bit of research on your average GI's shooting skills. The man was a world class shooter on the US team and a shooting coach to boot. What he discovered was that the average GI couldn't hit a man-sized silhouette at 25 meters and didn't understand why he had to zero his sights.

Around the same time, Master Sergeant Heugatter of the 25th Infantry Division found a similar situation among the soldiers he was training. Only about 10% of the soldiers he tested could actually hit a 1x1 foot target from 25 meters. Most of the guys didn't know they should zero their sights, and in several cases, the front sights of the barrels were unadjustable, due to rusting from poor maintenance! What really shocked the Sergeant was that this lack of knowledge was not just restricted to enlisted draftees, but also to officers and NCOs.

The most dramatic demo about how basic marksmanship training could help the average GI was given by a Major Foster of the 101st Airborne Division. He would bring up groups of 30 seasoned combat troops and tell them to select the worst shooter in their group. Then he would line the remaining guys with their M-16s and two 30 round clips each and tell them to shoot at a man sized target at 50 meters, with as many rounds as possible in a one minute limit (with no requirements on rate of fire or firing position). Invariably, the soldiers would shoot in the standing position in full auto mode and would hit the target maybe 4-5 times with 1800 rounds of ammo! Meanwhile, while the rest of the guys were shooting at the target, he would give the worst shooter some basic marksmanship training instructions for 5-10 minutes. Then the worst shooter would step up and only fire from the prone position and only in semi-automatic mode and would invariably hit the target more times with his 60 rounds than the entire group with 1800 rounds.

Because of all these common findings coming from different branches of the military, they began to once again emphasize Known Distance shooting and teaching the basics of marksmanship to the GIs, before going to Trainfire system.

See this article for some more details:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IAV/is_4_95/ai_n16884008

Incidentally, a lot of people have debunked some of the claims in Gen. Marshall's papers:
http://pages.slc.edu/~fsmoler/grossman.html
http://www.warchronicle.com/us/combat_historians_wwii/marshallfire.htm

Sorry about the length of the post :)
Last edited by m_bose on 21 Jun 2007 09:04, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby RayC » 19 Jun 2007 12:23

MBose,

Interesting.

Could you give links to the point elaborated by you on the experiences of the various personage mentioned in Vietnam and elsewhere?

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Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2007 14:34

Amazing stuff MBose - you have dumped more gyan in one post than I got out of a month's discussion in another (albeit medical) board.

But the subject has got my goat and I have ordered 3 books from Amazon including the one by Marshall that you linked.

"Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command" S. L. A. Marshall;

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" Dave Grossman;

"Acts of War: Behavior of Men in Battle"
Richard Holmes;

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Postby Kartman » 19 Jun 2007 18:00

Thanks for all that info, m_bose :)

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Postby asprinzl » 19 Jun 2007 18:25

M_bose,
Audie Murphy comes to mind.
Avram

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Postby RayC » 19 Jun 2007 19:49

Russel W Glenn's "Reading Athena's Dance Card: Men Against Fire in Vietnam" is another book one can read.

Glenn at that time was a Senior Defence and Political Analyst with RAND.

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Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2007 19:50

Questions:

What is the weight of a 5.56 mm bullet - say INSAS. Bullet alone - not casing/propellant

Similarly what is the weight of a 7.62 mm bullet.

Does the 7.62 Kalashnikov share ammunition with the old FN/Ishapore rifle? Does the AK 47 take 7.62 at all.

Is lead still used in the core of bullets?


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